92 Too Many?

Tad and I have completed a double album of 92 tiny songs.  We designed a cover and wrote some listening tips and are packaging it all up.  

Adam, the first recipient of the tiny songs album, cornered me at a Packer party to say that he likes it, but, as with all this stuff I make, it’s not commercially viable.  He assumes what we all assume these days, that success equals commercial viability and mass recognition. 

Here’s a little story:  A local musician hit stardom, touring with a very popular singer.  He started a wonderful little music festival that is a tremendous success.  So, moving into its third year, one hears grumblings about this man who has brought a new vibrancy to the community, jealousies wrapped up as some kind of truth.  I say congratulations to those of us who have managed to not get famous, to not be recognized on the street.  What a drain that must be, to be constantly approached and asked to give your time, to be scorned because of your hard work, to inevitably become disappointing. 

Music is sound patterns.  We grow comfortable with certain patterns, and the more repetitions, the more memories we attach to them.  Familiar patterns sound “correct” and unfamiliar patterns sound “incorrect.”  Often because of our discomfort with “incorrect”, we reject new patterns without taking the time to notice what they have to offer.

I am interested in the “incorrect” and so it doesn’t surprise me that what I do has not made me money or fame, nor do I think it ever will.  So I find no problem in continuing to make the music and art that I want to make rather than the music and art that others believe I should be making, even though Adam will laugh at me for saying it.

tad neuhaus, guitar
joanna dane, vocals

For your very own tiny songs double album, please send a self-addressed stamped envelop to: 

Joanna Dane 
℅ The 602 Club
602 N. Lawe Street
Appleton, WI  54911


The Dells

The signs said No Trespassing.

But that just seemed silly,

so I trespassed.


Don't Get Cocky Ice Farmer!

You were proud that your ice was finer than McKee's.
Then the weather got warm and the hose was left on 
and a puddle formed that caused a creek 
and fissions while refreezing,
And McKee's? 
Fast and smooth as glass.

OMatty, one of the rink's guest maintenance officers giving himself a Buddhist pep talk.


Sounds of Summer 2014, A


I will make mud
I will make mud
While the grass is growing
I will make mud
I will make mud
While the grass is growing
I can make mud
I can make mud
Where the grass is growing
I can make mud
I can make mud

Where's somemoremud Mama?
What's that?
Where's some more mud?
You need some more mud?
You can get mud by the back of the garage.
By the back of the garage?
In the back of the garage, yeah.
I will come out with a pocket of mud
a pocket of mud a pocket of mud
I will come out with a pocket of mud
a pocket . . .

Doing a video!

No I'm not.

A pocket of mud.  See Mama? Look it.

It's audio which means it's just sound.
But I hate sound I only like with no sound that's why I don't want a video.
Hey, what do you think this is?  These are, we planted these last year
I think these are like our garlics that are growing again.  Look at that we're gonna have these really nice garlics that's awesome
O.K. But I don't like garlic that much
that much that much

Where is the strawberries that we were growing
I thought we were growing strawberries


While the grass is growing


While the grass is growing growing growing growing growing growing!

Mama I don't want it

Whoa.  I must put a little seed in there.
I wanna bury a seed
I wanna


Dear Frank Rippl

You asked if kids play in the sandbox anymore.  Judging by this one, right on your own block, I'd say yes!  Thank you for the inspiring lecture on improvisation.  You expressed so succinctly, so many thoughts that have been flying around in my head.  I particularly like how you describe improv as the original music.  

Who was the first person to blow through a reed and make a song?  Who was the first to accidentally cover a hole and play a new note?  Why have we moved so far from improvisation as a serious form of study (serious in all its humor and surprise) that people fail to grasp that one practices it just as we practice classical music?  Is our ability to improvise (or not) cultural or inherited through the genes? Why are we encouraged to play with paint freely, the way we play in a sandbox, but with music we are presented very early on with strict rules?  Is our insistence that learning how to play classical (white, European) music as the best foundation for a musical education, a racist construct or a truism or just what we've learned to say?  What about the improvisational acrobatics that is classical East Indian music?  Would those musicians benefit from learning the rigidity of our classical music first?

I used this photograph to illustrate a post awhile back, trying to show how strange it would be to introduce playing in the sandbox the same way we introduce music.  My mom for one, thought it was about how to play in the sandbox.  So maybe this proves the woman's point who said these tendencies are tired to general dispositions.

Here's a link to the post:

Frank Rippl at All Saints
Improvising on the pipe organ
and discussing improv techniques at the piano

What I played on our out of tune piano when I came home:


I Was Wrong

Feeling Blue?

a tiny song:

tad neuhaus, guitar
joanna dane, vocals

Listen and visit the Feeling Blue? gallery at The 602.


Save the Date for A.D.C.P.!

Art Day, City Park


Saturday, May 30th, 2015


celebrating neighborhood, creativity, collaboration


Be Present.  

Get to Know Your Neighbors.



Strange Porch Blues - Weird

Weird turned the perfectly good station wagon her parents gave her into a car-thedral complete with flying buttresses and catacombs.  Weird collects hair and finger nails and lint.  Weird carries an old banjo everywhere she goes even though she doesn't know how to tune it.  Weird has three pet squirrels.


Mundane Things

After taking a break, it is difficult to get started again.  It is the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  The relatives are gone.  I am reading randomly from The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard.  He writes a diary of mundane things, what he had for breakfast, the details of sunbathing and going out to eat by himself.  For reasons I can not explain, I like to read this, more than I like reading some beautifully rendered fiction.  He writes about smoking and drinking coffee.  I am drinking coffee and eating chocolate.

I am not sure why, but it is difficult to get back into the creative spirit after not being in the creative spirit even for a day, let alone four.  Yesterday, I forced myself to wake up very early because I didn't stay out late with A. and S. and should have because J. and C. came to the club and played music to weird videos and that sounded very fun.  But instead I went to bed at 9, so I made myself wake up early and sit on the couch in the dark writing what might be some lyrics.  Then I fell back asleep until the grandmas woke up.

Later, when I was feeling bad about not staying out the night before, I thought maybe those lyrics will turn into a great song and then it will be worth it.  But reading over the lyrics, I see they aren't that great.  But sometimes, there are great surprises.

A. said maybe different art forms are just different - that people don't accept playing around with musical instruments the way we accept playing around with paint and clay because they are different. My mom suggested that most people give up on their lessons because they realize that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication and that they don't have the time or desire to include that in their lives. And many people, I suppose, take a break and are never able to get started again because so often what we encounter is so mundane.


Take a Walk to the Fox River Grottos


Join us
Black Friday
at Peabody Park by the river
for a grotto walk
followed by
an evening journey to Italy
at The 602 Club

Happy Thanksgiving!


What Is The Lesson?

Why don't we enroll our young children in weekly private painting lessons, and require that they practice painting everyday, not painting whatever they like, but painting with the proper technique so that they can learn to perfectly replicate the works of the masters?

Why don't we encourage our children to play with musical instruments the way we encourage them to play with paint and chalk and clay?

Why are we so rigid in our approach to some art forms and so relaxed in our approach to others?

What is our purpose in offering these lessons to children?

Why is it that so many of us quit our lessons at some point in childhood and never pick up a brush or instrument again?


Old Shakuhachi Woman

tad neuhaus, bass
joanna dane, shakuhachi

The old shakuhachi woman 
didn't go out much 
except to walk to the store and back.  

She'd stop and look up and squint at the sky.  
Then she'd laugh and shake her head,
slap her leg and continue on.  

How to know what she was thinking, 
she so old 
and I so young.


A Novel Novel

The writer wrote a novel novel which no one believed was a novel, 
having been stuck with one kind of novel for so long 
as to have forgotten that a novel is, by definition 

new and not resembling something formerly known or used.  


How Will You Contribute to the City Park New Arts Celebration?

sunrise to sunset
one day in may
city park
appleton, wisconsin

chalk art?
ephemeral sculpture?
monkey chanting?
deep listening walks?
improvisational soundscapes?
movement compositions?
tree stories?
percussion parade?

share your ideas
saturday, 11/15
@ The 602 Club
602 N. Lawe